500 jumps, pass the air and ground skill test and some other stuff.
The failure rate of first time test takers is over 65%. The average cost involved in getting ready for the test can be from $200 (10 Practice) - $1000 (Practice with another instructor and video), then the test is like $500. You also have to travel to where ever the course is beeing offered so figure another 500 for travel and stuff.
I want to touch the sky, I want to fly so high ~ Sonique
USPA has changed the prerequisites since I last "attempted" the AFF Ceritification Course, but this is what I remember.
First of all, accumulate 6 hours of freefall and become so good at belly-flying formations that you can fly rings around everyone else on your DZ.
Secondly, attend a USPA Basic Instructors Course or USPA Coaching Course.
Third fill out an AFF Proficiency Card. This requires demonstrating your skills to an AFF Instructor. The "Card" will require 12 to 24 jumps and can be done during an AFF Training Camp. AFF Camps are not mandatory, but it is almost impossible to earn the rating without attending a training camp.
Write up a bunch of AFF lesson plans, accumulate a pile of training aids and practice teaching AFF ground school.
Finally set aside $2000 to cover the cost of the AFF Certification Course as well as travel and living expenses.
Rob has it right on. The AFF rating is the most difficult rating to obtain. I would suggest doing 30 to 50 practice jumps before you go to the course. One other thing, They make the course very stressful. I have seen many people fail that I thought just got to stressed out.
Your right on all points. The pre-camp is good to get you into the groove for camp, but don't expect to learn to be an AFF instructor at pre-camp. I did over 50 training jumps with AFF instructors and evaluators after the precamp I attended. There is a formal way to react to what your student is doing. Your flying skills must be good, but "levels of response" is the key to passing the course.
AFF is the coolest most fun skydiving you'll ever do, have fun!